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I spent the better part of last weekend trudging around in the Blizzard of ’06 to bring you the weirdest and coolest finds at the American International Toy Fair here in New York City. Here are my top five, in no particular order:

1. Speed Racer is back! It’s the 40th anniversary of the cartoon and ArtAsylum is bringing out a new Speed Racer. The story revolves aroundSpeed as the father of ornery twins (pictured) who don’t want to listen to Pops(yes, they still race). But don’t worry, all the original characters are still around: RacerX has grey hair (just like Speed), Chim Chim is a huge gorilla, andSpritle’s all growed up too. The show will launch exclusively online inJuly, no word yet on where, with toys and figures planned as well.

2. Monster Allergy This Italian cartoon import, soon to air on Cartoon Network and Kids’ WB! is about Zick, who looks like a 2-D version of the Gorillaz, a boy who can see monsters thanks to his hay fever, and follows his destiny to become a Monster Tamer. Brilliant! Upper Deck (yes, THAT Upper Deck) is releasing a trading-card game based on the series later this year.

3. Blue Man Group. Leave it to the zany Blue Men to put out a line of instruments made out of faux PVC piping for kids. (They’ll be available this summer from Toy Quest.) But, screw the kids, I’ll be the first to push my niece out of the way to create my own musical masterpiece. While the keyboard is interesting, it’s the motion-sensor instrument that responds when you wave your hand over the tubes that floored me. But the best part? The ability to hook your iPod up to them and mix over your favorite songs. My mash up of Jewel‘s “You Were Meant for Me” is going to be SLAMMIN’.

4. Saw puppet. I love Saw as much as the next person, but this puppet from Sideshow Collectibles/Medicom Toys just freaks me out. Not saying I wouldn’t want one, but it’s still creepy. And I must say I’m disappointed it doesn’t come with the trike he rides in the film. It’ll be out in time for Saw 3 (which hits theaters in October).

5. Rocky. Rocky Balboa (a.k.a. Rocky 6) won’t be in theaters until early next year, so in the interim, why not collect the whole line of action figures?! Jakks Pacific gives us trainers, girlfriends, opponents and Rockys from all five films. I personally love the slabs of beef that come with the figure from the original.

Now I’m off to play with the most incredible thing I got at the fair: my new Pikachu ring tone!

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